tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S House of Representatives CSPAN April 24, 2018 3:37pm-6:03pm EDT
about who is in it at ronald hampton with rizona republic, congressional reporter. good morning. guest: good morning. host: could you set the stage to us when it comes candidates involved in this race? guest: sure. o this is the special election to replace trent franks, the congressman who resigned in after being linked to office.misconduct in he was said to have offered be a surrogate mother of his child. the republican in the race who has his pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20rk the >> and we'll leave this here for live coverage of the house. or votes obt to under clause 6 -- objected to under clause 6 of rule 206789 the house will resume proceedings on post pobed questions at a later time -- postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i move
the house suspend the rules, pass s. 447. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 447. an act to require reporting on acts of certain foreign countries on holocaust era assets and related issues. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, i claim time in opposition to this measure. the speaker pro tempore: ok. does the gentleman from new york favor the motion? mr. engel: yes. the speaker pro tempore: ok. on that basis, pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida will control the 20 minutes in opposition. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material into the measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. poe: mr. speaker, i'd like to grant one half of my time to the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, and i ask unanimous consent that he be allowed to control those 10 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, as the nazis ravaged europe, confiscation of property was just one of the many injustices holocaust victims endured. in the almost 75 years since world war ii ended, helping to repair the wrongs inflicted by the nazis by restoring the property of millions of people who had their lives torn apart has proven a difficult, challenging problem. in 2009, holocaust-era assets conference talked about the ongoing injustices created by the holocaust including guidance related to restitution of property wrongfully seized. however, among the 46 signers
to this declaration, including the united states, there were vast disparages and the degree to which the laws and policies of each one cun fulfill the principles to compensate survivors. this act will help hold governments accountable that have fallen short of their commitment to these important principles. this bill requires the state department to assess the laws and policies regarding the turn and restitution for wrongfully seized for holocaust-era assets for countries that participated in the 2009 holocaust era assets conference. and states that in its -- sense of congress that the secretary should continue to report to congress on holocaust-era assets. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida is now recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i recognize myself for as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today to do
something that i never would have thought that i would do in my time in congress. i'm here to stand in opposition to a bill that purports, purports to seek justice for holocaust survivors. anyone who knows just the lightest bit about my tenure in congress knows how hard i have worked over the years in support of holocaust survivors. i've held hearings on the plight of survivors. i've introduced bills to seek justice for survivors. i've pressed germany to honor its obligation and its commitment to survivors and ensure that germany take care of the health and home care needs of all survivors so that they may live out their remaining days in the dignity and comfort that they deserve. i have fought against those who deny the holocaust, and i have spent countless hours speaking with and visiting with the many survivors that i have now come
to know as dear friends. listening to their stories, hearing them recall the atrocities that they somehow managed to live through. and then hearing how even today more than 70 years later they still face the injustices of humanity's darkest period. in fact, it was speaker ryan who named me as one of the congressional members on the holocaust museum board just last year. and i'm truly honored and humbled to have been named to this position. so i think my history of support for holocaust survivors and their families is well established and well-known which is why i cannot in good conscience stand here before you, mr. speaker, and before my colleagues, before the american people and before the holocaust survivors who are listening to offer my support for this bill. and with all due respect for my colleagues and their good friends -- because i know their hearts are in the right place
-- this bill is not what it purports to be. that's the problem. let's start with the name, mr. speaker. justice for uncompensated survivors today. where is the justice, mr. speaker? this bill is nothing more than a mere reporting requirement. it's got a fancy name. it's going to give us the feel-good that you're doing something for survivors, but it's just a reporting requirement. what do survivors gain from that? there is no actionable item in this bill. there's nothing to compel any government to do anything in this bill. there's simply no real action here. this is a claims conference justice, and by that i mean the claims conference wants to appear to be doing all that it can for survivors but it is nothing more than that. it's a smokescreen. because we should not be fooled, mr. speaker. this bill has the full support
of the claims conference precisely because it does the bare minimum. it keeps the attention away from the sad truth. what is the truth? that the claims conference has utterly failed our holocaust survivors. there is no denying that the claims conference has a particularly checkered history. its flawed process, its failure to support, fully, the holocaust survivors' needs, its opposition to allowing survivors real justice, and, of course, the embezzlement and fraud issues. there's no denying that this bill moves the needle not one inch closer to justice. it has a fancy name, but there is no justice. and just look at the time frame here, mr. speaker. the report is due in 18 months, and then what? and how many of the survivors will pass away before this report even gets issued? so i'm sorry to say, but the
just act just falls so far short of what survivors need today that i cannot stand before my friends and colleagues and i cannot stand before my holocaust survivors and offer a voice of support for this bill. and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this bill and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: first, let me thank senator baldwin and senator rubio for their tireless efforts on behalf of holocaust survivors and their heirs. i would also like to acknowledge the important work of my new york colleague, congressman joe crowley, and chris smith, who introduced the house version of this legislation. the justice fournexen said survivors -- for uncompensated survivors or the just act would shine the light on any country in europe who wrongfully
confiscated or transferred holocaust era assets. nearly 75 years after the end of world war ii, we are still debating property rights for holocaust victims. that's truly astonishing. according to the holocaust immoveable property restitution study, a substantial amount of property confiscated from european jews hasn't been returned to its rightful owners or its owners haven't been compensated at all. we must ensure that the united states is holding governments to their obligations and endorsing their property is properly returned. holocaust survivors have waited too long for justice, we cannot let them wait any longer. so i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is -- the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you.
mr. speaker, i previously discussed how passing just a reporting requirement is not justice for survivors. never mind the title. it may be vigilance, but there will be no justice served for a single survivor, when this body passes this bill and sends it to the president for his signature. but, mr. speaker, there's something even worse than not providing justice for survivors. and that is depriving them of justice. i want to talk about one of the principles in this bill, that while on the face of it might read like it's simple -- of it, it might read like it's a simple principle, perhaps it sounds good, commonsense, and this is what it does. the bill directs the secretary of state to submit a report to congress that assesses an describes the nature and extent that certain countries have gone to in order to meet the goals and objectives of the 2009 holocaust era assets conference. again, sounds reasonable. and it's always good hold it
countries accountable, especially when we're talking about seeking justice for holocaust survivors. but one of the big flaws of the 2009 conference, and what this bill does by asking the secretary to report on how governments are complying with these goals, is that it enshrines a principle of running out the clock on survivors. the principle, which is specifically highlighted in this bill, the justice act -- just act, is the notion that allowing governments to use the assets of heirless property claims to provide for other survivors' needs. essentially what this is saying to the government that have claims against them, or that have obligations to survivors that they must meet, is, go ahead. stall as long as you can, wait them out. then use those assets to pay off your obligations. how long have survivors had to wait now, mr. speaker?
over 70 years. and the longer they wait, the longer those states which have obligations to survivors are allowed to stall. the less that these states will be on the hook for. even worse, this reward states forestalling. it compounds the injustice to survivors. using property and assets that were denied to survivors for over seven decades, to then pay off other survivors is sickening. every surviver deserves justice. and that -- survivor includes -- deserves justice. and that includes all who have lived through the unthinkable but are no longer with us today. this practice is nothing more than a smoke screen for germanys and other claims conference failures to forth rightly provide for all survivors' needs. let's think about it this way, mr. speaker. the claims conference will support the idea of using
heirless claims to provide for other survivors. sure. but will the claims conference support the idea that survivors still being denied their justice by the insurance companies should be allowed to sue those insurance companies? federal court? no. and i wonder why that is. if my colleagues want to support this bill, and if they think that using heirless property to pay for the needs of other survivors is the best we can get, then fine. but i challenge each eanched one of to you believe that we can do more. we must do more. -- each and every one of you to believe that we can do more. we must do more. we have a moral responsibility to do more for survivors. if we can tell governments in europes that ok to benefit from their unwillingness to resolve the outstanding property claims against them for 70 years, then we can tell our survivors that it is ok for them to go to
federal court and fight for their justice. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, i yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from california, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, mr. royce, and i also ask unanimous consent that he control the remainder of that time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. let me thank the gentlelady from florida, the chairman emeritus of our committee. let me thank her for her tireless work advocating on behalf of holocaust survivors. and let me say at the outset here that no one in congress, no one in this congress has done more to advocate on behalf of survivors than ileana ros-lehtinen, and i believe that to be true through her entire tenure in this body.
let me also explain the thoughts as explained to us behind our senate colleagues that put together the just act. from their standpoint, from their vantage point, the just act is a simple reporting requirement to assess the progress of signatories to the declaration. on holocaust era assets and related issues. and the goal there, of course, was to fulfilling the principles in that declaration, and a lot of time and effort went into trying to leverage that agreement out of 46 countries. that agreed to these principles. -- countries that agreed to these principles. now, here's the point. here's where we have a difference of opinion. of those 46 countries, some of them are falling short. woefully short of their
commitments. here's the conflict of visions. some are saying, many are saying, look, we need to put pressure on them. the senate unanimously came to the conclusion that a way to do that is with this bill. because what the legislation does is to ensure that there is an accountability mechanism of checking adherence to the declaration principles and to make sure that it doesn't fall by the wayside, by bringing accountability to those countries that don't. he injustices of the holocaust , frankly here today, those injustices are too many to name. and many are unaddressed in that declaration. and i concur from that standpoint. but at the same time we need to continue pushing to right the full spectrum of these wrongs, but before us we have a bill
which will bring much leverage. we cannot lose the headway that we've made towards compensating survivors and families for what was rightfully theirs. our partners have already agreed to the restitution principles in the declaration. a formal report that shows who has fallen short and how, it is argued by our colleagues in the senate would be a powerful instrument for the u.s. government to push for changes. from my standpoint, i understand the arguments being made by the senate. it does not mean that we should not go forward to make other points. but the argument they make to us is let's give the state department the tools it needs to ensure accountability. this is an argument that -- on both sides of the aisle, the preponderance of members here, i think, concur with.
so with that said, i'm going to yield back -- i'll reserve. i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i recognize myself for as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. earlier i spoke about survivors being unable to sue the insurance companies in federal court. how unjust that is. what a travesty. first they were forced to suffer the inhumanity of the nazis during the holocaust, treated as outsiders. worse than that, they really are just no -- there really are just no words to adequately describe how jews were treated during the nazi time. and now for so many, they continue to face injustices on a daily basis. you would think, mr. speaker, that those who endured and
managed to make it here to america, home of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, where everyone is meant to have equal rights, would not have to face the harsh truth that they are still being treated no better than second class citizens. imagine how survivors feel when they are told that in america almost anyone can have their rightful day in court unless you're a holocaust survivor. with a claim against one of the big, rich, powerful insurance companies. in that case, you have no right to your justice. you have no day in court. you are prohibitted from bringing justice to the courts. countless survivors had valid insurance policies with insurance companies in europe before the holocaust. but when so many tried to make a claim on the policies of their loved ones, can you
imagine what these companies told them? the insurance companies have asked holocaust survivors to show their policies. because, as we all know, mr. speaker, the nazis just let the jews of europe take all of their important documentation and their most cherished possessions with them before they were hauled off for extermination. of course that did not happen. even worse, these big, rich, powerful insurance companies didn't just reject these claims due to the be a sense of policy documents. so many -- ab -- absence of policy documents. so many were rejected due to the absence of death certificate. another paper that the insurance companies knew were not readily available. they did not pass them out in extermination camps. the relatives did not get a death certificate. but yet that's what insurance companies are asking of survivors. of course we all know that policyholders aren't the only
ones with a proper documentation. any of the big, rich, powerful insurance companies isn't just going to take my word for it that i have a policy with them. insurance companies are going to have their own documentation to validate the claim. they have that documentation. but do insurance companies do this for survivers? do they show them the claims? of course not. unfortunately there's nothing to compel these huge, rich and powerful insurance companies to provide it and to pay off delimes. these claims, by the way, mr. speaker, now run into the billions of dollars. so you can imagine why the insurance companies would fight so hard against allowing survivors to receive their claims. this is not justice, this is just as immoral and as reprehensible as you can get. and these rich and powerful insurance companies should be
held liable and they should be held accountable for these sins against morality and humanity. and that's the bill that we should be debating today. and that's why for years i've authored the holocaust insurance accountability act, h.r. 762, in this congress. and i have worked side by side with so many survivors over the years who feel as if they are continuing to be victimized. and they ask me, why can everyone else get their day in court, like we're all entitled to, but not holocaust survivors? my bill is simple, mr. speaker. it will finally allow survivors the ability to bring their cases before the u.s. court system, and allows them to have their day in court. it does not prejudge the outcome on any case. it simply says survivors can face the insurance companies in court and seek redress. it will make the insurance companies open up their books
and let the world know the truth. and if it is decided by the u.s. court system that these insurance companies have in fact been shirking their moral and legal responsibilities, then the appropriate course of action should be taken. but this cannot happen, these survivors cannot have their day in court unless we take steps to ensure that it can. . if we are here to talk about justice for survivors, let's talk about doing something more than a simple reporting requirement with a fancy name. let's talk about ending seven decades of injustice. let's talk about ending impunity for these big, powerful, rich insurance companies. let's talk about accountability. let's take up the just act with the holocaust insurance accountability act. let's not allow ourselves to
pass a reporting requirement and then pat ourselves on the back thinking the job is over. let's get real justice for survivors. i reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure now to yield four minutes to my fellow new yorker, the gentleman from new york, who is the chair of the democratic caucus, mr. crowley, who is also the sponsor of the house version of this bill, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for four minutes. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i thank my friend and colleague -- i say friend, from the bronx, new york, mr. engel. he's been a true friend for many, many, many years. i thank him for yielding me this time. mr. speaker, i rise in full support today of s. 447, the justice for uncompensated survivors act. this important measure has already unanimously passed the
senate. senator tammy baldwin has worked hard on this issue on a bipartisan basis, and i'm proud to have introduced the house version, as has been mentioned, along with my colleague from new jersey, mr. smith. i appreciate the efforts of the chairman and the ranking member here in bringing the bill to the floor. i was first approached by the lack of justice still facing holocaust survivors by a gentleman from queens, new ork. yahuta. i am sorry he can't be here to watch this debate as he spent a lifetime helping those who endured the tragedies during the holocaust. yahuta has been an incredible campaigner for holocaust survivors and his wife who lived in the ghetto under false identification and joined others in hiding with resistance fighters. it was yahuta and the world jewish restitution organization who shared with me an downgoing
indignity that holocaust survivors still face to this very day, the inability to reclaim property unlawfully seized during the holocaust. this is property that if restored could have a significant impact for the far too many holocaust survivors living in poverty today. it may shock some to hear that hear in the united states 1/3 of the holocaust survivors, 1/3 live at or under the poverty line. that's depictable. some survivors are so poor they sometimes have to choose between food and medicine. their stories put in stark relief the life-long impact the holocaust had on an entire generation of survivors and their families. that's why it's so important that in 2009 the united states, israel, and 45 other countries signed the declaration on holocaust-era assets and related issues.
in that important measure, countries pledged to take steps to return assets looted by the nazi government and others. nine years later, this is still work to be done. the just act urges countries to keep their commitments to rest tuitt wrongly taken holocaust-era assets and it will continue to shine a light on the ongoing struggle of holocaust survivors to reclaim the property that is rightfully theirs. if you walk out the front door of this building and head down the street, you'll find yourself at the united states holocaust memorial museum. it's a powerful institution and one that reminds us not only of the heroic role played by the united states during world war ii but also the tremendous suffering faced by the jewish people and all victims of the holocaust. for me it is also a reminder that if we can take steps to try to right more of the wrongs committed during the holocaust we should take the opportunity to do so. i believe this bill is an opportunity to do that.
i have the utmost and utmost respect for the gentlelady from florida, mr. speaker, ms. ros-lehtinen. she knows my affection for her. we have been friends for over 20 years, and i respect her opposition to this because i know she does want justice for the victims. that is her goal. but i just for the record want to just include in the record that this bill is supported by the world jewish restitution organization, the american jewish committee, the anti-defamation league, jewish federations of north america, refugee assistance organization, national coalition supporting year asian jewelry, union kwon for religious action center and the -- of the orthodox union. mr. speaker, i think it's important to recognize those organizations that are in full support of this legislation, with all due respect to a woman i have tremendous respect for. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i recognize myself for as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves -- recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. in order to close my part of this debate on the bill, i want to reiterate that though i strongly oppose the just act because it's smoke and mirrors, it gives you the feel-good moment and provides no justice for survivors in spite of its fancy name, i do believe that my colleagues do have good intentions and they want to see holocaust survivors finally get the justice that has for so long evaded them. and their words and their remarks are heart-felt. they just don't apply to this bill. they would more rightly apply to the bill that i have that i hope this body will soon take
up. in fact, this body took action last congress when the holocaust expropriated art recovery act of 2016, or the hear act, was passed and signed into law. this was an important bill. it actually helped. that bill allowed for civil claims or causes of action for the recovery of artwork stolen from jews by the nazis during the holocaust. in other words, we have acted to ensure that holocaust victims can bring claims in u.s. courts to recover the looted artwork and other possessions. so they can have their day in court, and i'm glad for it. if you lost a famous painting and there had been movies and books written about them, you can have your day in court. that's wonderful. but since hear was passed, the holocaust expropriated art recovery act, hear, it has already been cited in several cases and has been applied by the ninth circuit court to
revive a previously dismissed nazi-era art case. it's great. so why not take action to allow the same process to take place for survivors to hold insurance companies available -- accountable? so if you had your artwork looted by the nazis, you can have your day in court. but if the nazis have destroyed your life and you had an insurance company policy, you do not have the right to take that case to court. it doesn't make sense. so mr. speaker, we are here today to debate justice for uncompensated survivors of the holocaust. a simple reporting requirement isn't going to do that. we shouldn't have to be taking such action, unfortunately, but because certain governments haven't lived up to their obligations and because these insurance companies and others complicit, complicit in nazi-era crime still manage to evade accountability.
we have a moral obligation to step into action. and that's the message that i am giving to my colleagues. if we want to pass the just act, so be it. but let's also vow here and now to take more concrete action to really give justice for holocaust survivors. let's take that next big step. time is running out. time is running out for all of these survivors, and we need action yesterday, not today, but today will do. so i'm asking my colleagues to do the right thing and i'm asking for this body, mr. speaker, to bring the holocaust insurance accountability act to the floor as soon as possible so that we can take a meaningful step, a concrete step, an action item toward justice for survivors. and then all of those lofty words that are laid upon the table on this bill, that don't really apply, would really
apply to this bill, the holocaust insurance accountability act. we owe it to the survivors. we owe it to their families. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entlewoman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. it's now my pleasure to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, who is a very well-respected member of our foreign affairs committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend, ranking member engel, for his hard work on this bill and for yielding, and i thank chairman royce as well. i want to thank the many members of congress who have shown their unyielding commitment to caring for holocaust survivors and ensuring their needs are met, including the co-sponsors of this bill and, of course, to
the house bill sponsor, congressman crowley and congressman smith. i'd also like to take this opportunity to thank my friend colleague, ileana ros-lehtinen, for her help with holocaust survivors in florida and everywhere they live. it is fitting congress would consider this bill. i hope that the world is watching because every year that we move away from the horrible atrocities of the holocaust we lose more and more survivors. the people who survived auschwitz, other nazi death camps, people who survived the attempted genocide against them , where six millions jews perished. we must remember every single victim, those who perished and those who survived, had a
story. they had homes. they had businesses. family air looms and personal poe -- heirlooms and personal possessions. through zis went europe they stole everything they could while they sent jews to their death. while no amount of money may erase these horrors, these survivors, their families and their heirs deserve compensation for confiscated property, including jewish communal, private and heirless property. in 2009, the united states joined 46 other countries and agreed to the declaration on holocaust-era assets. this was a commitment by these countries to provide for the restitution of confiscated property, but nine years later, many european countries have still failed to meet their commitments in this agreement. some countries still haven't passed legislation to create a system for private property restitution. and we should call out their failures.
but as we speak, thousands of survivors are in need of immediate and urgent care and assistance. i am proud to represent a large community of survivors, and i see their critical needs going unmet day after day. this bill can be a tool to help us understand where the gaps lie in restitution programs, but it does not address nor meant to address the urgened neat of survivors now. as they age, their needs grow. it's essential they get the care they deserve. we need to make sure those needs are addressed. i urge colleagues to support the bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i'll continue to reserve the right to close, mr. speaker. unless there are -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. royce: if there are no further speakers. mr. engel: i'll close if that's appropriate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized from new york to close.
mr. engel: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. eng really are this legislation is critical to ensuring holocaust survivors and their heirs are compensated. restitution and return will represent another step moving past this heinous chapter of human history. i want to thank my colleague and good friend, chairman ros-lehtinen, for her powerful remarks this afternoon and for her leadership for so many years in fighting for holocaust survivors. i've met many of her constituents and many of my own who remain engaged in this prolonged battle for justice. i am a co-sponsor of congresswoman ros-lehtinen's legislation, and i proudly support her in these efforts. and i do hope that her bill will come to the floor as well. i also support this bill, congressman crowley and smith, as well as senators baldwin and rubio, in the effort to ensure property is restituted and
returned through the just act. this legislation has already passed the senate so when we pass it here it will go right to the president's desk for signing. with this vote we can push it across the finish line. so i urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i'd like to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, we have been contacted on behalf of the just act by a number of organizations in support of the senate bill. the major organizations in support of this bill, the anti-defamation league, the
highest refugee assistance organization, the union for reformed judaism, orthodox union, world jewish restitution and others have argued that the justice for uncompensated survivors act, or just act as the senate calls it is a measure that will have an outsized impact in encouraging countries to continue working to make amends, make amends for the evils of the holocaust. that's what drove the senate to pass this bill. now, just to go into the details again a little bit, it was in 2009 that reptives of this country and 40 other countries agreed to a set of principles to address the welfare of survivors, address holocaust education, and to address restitution for seized property, among other issues. that's what these 40 nations
committed to. so 10 years have passed, approximately, and it's time we take stock of the work under way. because while a number of these partner countries have made great strides to uphold their commitments under the agreement, you and i know, everybody here knows, that some countries have fallen short. and this legislation which charges the state department with a responsibility for this important report and let's call it naming and shaming, that's basically what is intended here, it gives the united states another tool to seek justice for holocaust survive yoss, to seek justice for the families of holocaust victims, and it is our hope that passing this bill will motivate improvements even before the report is penned.
already, we have seen some of these countries overseas renew their engagement on this issue and that's the leverage that we ant to deploy. you know, it is a devastating issue to even begin a discussion because we can never compensate holocaust survivors truly for the unbelievable horror and devastation that they suffered. but from the perspective of most of the organizations that have talked to us about the bill, their point would be, we can try, we can try to restore what is rightfully theirs, and part of the trying, from their standpoint is to shed light on the efforts, or lack thereof. that other countries are making. and this bill does that.
it unanimously passed the senate for that reason. and i yield back the balance of my time. and thank all of the members here who participated here in the debate over this very difficult issue. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 447. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? the clerk will report the title. mr. royce: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r.
4744 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4744, a bill to impose additional sanctions with resect to -- with respect to serious human rights abuses of the government of iran and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i also ask unanimous consent to place into the record exchanges of letters with other committees of jurisdiction. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: in january, body came together, it was a near unanimous vote, to support the iranian people who were engaged
in he jate mat protests against a very oppressive regime. i want to thank mr. mike mccaul here, chairman of the homeland security committee, and mr. eliot engel, the ranking member of our committee on foreign affairs. for their engagement in this issue and at the time, we were witnessing tens of thousands of iranians taking to the streets in the largest demonstration that we had seen since the green revolution of 2009. the protests aimed at economic stagnation, aimed at widespread corruption and people were talking about that all the time, aimed at the revolutionary guard corps control over that economy because they had nationalized, seized so much of that economy. and quickly we saw that spread across iran.
as persians sought to exercise the fundamental right of free do expression, as people across that country of every ethnicity and every religion began to speak out. many demonstrated, shouted slogans aimed at iran's costly upport for syria's al-assad if you recall, reading the press accounts. and they attacked, they argued about the costs, the support that went to the terrorist roups such as hezbollah. predictably, the iranian regime moved swiftly to quash the demonstrations and throttle social media. more than 1,000 iranians were jailed, dozens were killed, house resolution 6 6 condemned this brutal violence back in january, called for targetted sanctions to hold the regime to account, but today we act to make good on that call. because the bill before us
oday, chairman mccaul's h.r. 4744, requires the administration to determine whether senior iranian officials should be sanctioned for human rights abuses. it also requires determinations on whether iranian businesses should be sanctioned for public corruption with respect to those that are involved. and it mandates sanctions on those official responseable for iran's politically motivated jailing of u.s. citizens. mr. speaker, for years the regime in tehran has systematically beat down all opposition inside iran. it regularly uses brutal tactics ck in iran including torture and mass executions. as it seeks to export violence
and radical ideology abroad as well. i think all of us can think back to that 1979 revolution and contemplate how much better iran would have been had it not went off onto a path of becoming a rogue state. as this legislation details, today the regime flagrantly disregards commitments, drn commitments its made to respect the rights of iranian people. many of us recall the barbaric mass executions carried out over a four-month period in 1988. i dare say if you know any persians, if you know people who escaped from iran, you know that during that period of time leading up to 1988, the flrp over 30,000 students and young professionals who lost their lives as a consequence.
we know that the political prisoners there went through a ueling experience in prisonsmark executed by hanging, many by firing squad. they refused to renounce their political affiliations and that was the fate that was handed out to them. and today, the regime still persecutes ethnic and religious nority groups, such as the b ba -- such as the baha'i, sue fee, sunni, christians, dissenting shia muslims. and we all remember the way the ayatollah oppressed the peaceful dissent in the green revolution in which the previous administration remained embarrassingly silent in my view and many of us here on the floor today spoke up often at that
time about that dissent during the green revolution. because i think this was a real opportunity missed by the united states. so again, mr. speaker, i want to thank chairman mccal and i want to thank ranking member en-- mccaul and i want to thank ranking member engel for their work on this legislation. i am glad we have strong bipartisan support for this measure. regardless of how one views the iran nuclear agreement it's critical that the united states and our allies continue to press iran for its dangerous and threatening acts that fall outside of the jcpoa. this is an area where officials from the trump and obama administrations agree and for good reason. s the same regime that is holding american citizens including one who is in very poor health. holding them on sham charges. in one of the largest ransom schemes, from my standpoint, that was ever devised. this regime of course held its
first american hostages in 1979 when it overran our u.s. embassy. the regime's m.o. remains the same. it is far pastime the regime faced consequences for its attacks on iranians, and for its attacks on americans ialike. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in strong support of this measure and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: let me start by thanking congressman deutch and mccaul, both valued members of the foreign affairs committee, for they hard work on this bill. want to also thank chairman ed royce who has been a strong bipartisan voice in things that are so important to the country, our country, and to the world. we always say that we take pride in having the foreign affairs committee being the most poirn
committee in the entire congress. iran has isolated itself then global -- on the global stage buzz it refuses to abandon aggressive activities that pose a threat to the region and the entire international community. on that list is the regime's terrible treatment, mistreatment, of its own people. and its heinous practice of prolonged and politically motivated detentions of american citizens. the bill before us now seeks to put an end to these intolerable practices. it would place sanctions on anyone responsible for politically motivated harassment, abuse, extortion, or extended detention or trial of americans or iranians. earlier this year, we stood on this floor in solidarity with protesters in iran who sought a better future for their country and for the next generation.
they wanted to see their government abandon its support for iranian proxy forces and terrorist groups like hezbollah in favor of funding health care and employment opportunities for average iranians. this is a country that's suffered so much under the ayatollah's -- ayatollahs and the economic mismanagement of its leaders and the protests in december and january were a stark reminder of the regime's tight grip on power as many protesters were killed in the streets and blocked from communicating with the outside world. today as we pass this legislation, we think about the americans who currently sit in iranian prisons. we think about robert levinson, mr. deutch's constituent who has been missing for over 11 years. who has missed the weddings of his children and the births of his grandchildren. the iranian regime had promised to cooperate with the investigation to locate mr.
levin -- levinson but to date that cooperation has been virtually nonexistent. there is no real clarity in u.s. polity -- policy toward iran. the united states faces a looming deadline on the nuclear deal and the future remains uncertain. but there is one thing we can all agree. we cannot let -- cannot let up the pressure on iran for its human rights violations, particularly against american citizens. so again, again i want to thank mr. mccaul and mr. deutch. this is a bipartisan piece of legislation. if you care about the injustices going on in iran, then it's important to support this bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, chairman of the committee on homeland security, and the author of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr.
speaker. i rise today to urge support for my bill to hold the iranian regime accountable for its continued human rights violations. i introduced the iran human rights and hostage taking accountability act with congressman deutch, and i'm grateful for chairman royce and ranking member engel's support in this effort. the iranian regime continues to perpetrate gross human rights abuses against its own people. they continue to suppress and censor their people's calls for democratic reform. they recklessly use their nation's resources to expand their destabilizing influence and support of terrorism. they continue to engage in corrupt practices, and they continue to illegally detain and imprison our citizens without just cause. this is simply unacceptable. mr. speaker, this bill serves as a clear signal to the people of iran that we support their
quest for freedom. it shines a light on the regime's human rights violations and targets iranian officials guilty of corruption, censorship, and the diversion of goods intended for the iranian people. it requires the president to work with our international participaters in to develop a strategy to end this inhumane behavior and sanctions those officials complicit in those crimes. finally, it sanctions these -- those individuals who take americans hostage. mr. speaker, today, there are more than six american citizens and permanent u.s. residents held by the iranian regime in a shapeful attempt to use innocent human lives as political bargaining chips. these hostages include bob levinson, congressman deutch's constituent, who has been missing since 2007, and remains america's longest held hostage. one and his 81-year-old father
held since 2015 and 2016 respectively. ph.d. student wong held since 2016. an internet freedom activist nizr, held since 2016, and others. the united states has a moral responsibility to devote resources to these mostages and make their return a priority. i sent a letter with lieu sman lou and 40 -- and 46 other members of congress requesting that the administration keeps congress apprised of what's happening. i want to thank you on this bipartisan effort to hold iran accountable. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is
recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. it's now my pleasure to yield five minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, the ranking member of the subcommittee on the middle east and north africa of the foreign affairs committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, ranking member engel and chairman royce, for your support of this legislation. special thanks to chairman mccaul for your leadership in recognizing the need to take action. we must work together to stop the brutal iranian regime's human rights abuses and demand the release of american hostages that iran is using as pawns for political leverage. i'm proud to partner with you, mr. mccaul, in this effort. the iran human rights and hostage-taking accountability act, sends a clear message to the iranian regime and the rest of the world, this congress, this country will not tolerate the flagrant disregard of the most basic of human rights. my colleagues have explained
the merits of this bill and i know it is difficult for many americans to imagine, but we are here today to show our resolve in the face of really unbelievable circumstances. for my constituents, the family of robert levinson, this is a nightmare that they have lived for 11 years. bob levinson is the longest american held hostage in history. he disappeared in iran on march 9, 2007. imagine 11 years without your husband or your father. imagine having grandchildren who have never had the chance to meet their grandfather. imagine 11 anniversaries, dozens of family birthdays and holidays that past by without bob, just an empty place where bob should be sitting. bob's wife, christine, and his seven children, susan, stephanie, sarah, dan, david, samantha, and doug, have been tireless advocates for their
father. they've traveled to iran themselves looking for answers. they have made the trip to washington, d.c., countless times to meet with government officials, members of congress. they have fought for action all the way to the oval office directly appealing to president bush, president obama, and president trump. they have watched as others have returned home to their families. they have listened with hope as iran's leaders have promised cooperation. and they have been disappointed more times than they can count as promises go unfulfilled year after year after year. iran has become adapt to this cruel game because that's what it is to this rogue iranian regime. they say hostages are not hostages. but these people are not detained under a legal order. they have lost their freedom. they have been separated from their families, and they have been held under the shamelessly
trumped up and false charges. any attempt to show due process or trials has been a sham. the levinsons, to the other families whose loved ones are being held, we stand with you. today we speak clearly and loudly with one bipartisan voice to send a message that no country, no rogue regime will use american lives as leverage to further a dangerous agenda. this bill isn't about the nuclear deal. nothing in this bill precludes our continued participation in the jcpoa. but this bill makes clear the importance of closely coordinating with our allies and partners whose citizens have also been held hostage by iran to apply pressure on the regime. if we are going to counter iran's abuses, iran's terrorism, iran's threats to our troops and our national security interests, we must work with our partners around
the globe. we will stand together against repression and the violation of human rights. we will stand together against religious persecution. we will stand together for the rule of law and democratic values, and taking hostages and violating the most fundamental values that cut to the core of our dignity as human beings is unacceptable to this congress and to members of the international community. i urge all of my colleagues to stand up to iran's rogue regime, to stand up for human rights and for the people of iran, to stand with the levinsons and the other families whose loved ones are missing from their lives, and to fight for their return home by supporting this bill. please support h.r. 4744, and together we will stand for basic human rights. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york
reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ileana ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and north africa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i thank chairman royce for his kindness and his leadership and ranking member eliot, my favorite mench, for bringing this bill to the floor today. i also want to thank and congratulate michael mccaul, and my south florida colleague and dear friend, ted deutch, for their work in authoring this important bill. the regime in iran, as we have heard from my colleagues, is responsible for some of the most despicable human rights abuses imaginable. the regime is also notorious for its hostage-taking tactics. hoping to get financial or political concessions from the united states and other western ountries for their
hostage-taking. mr. deutch and i have been highlighting these abuses in our subcommittee through multiple hearings, many pieces of legislation, including a resolution that house passed last year, house resolution 317, that urged the president to make the release of americans held hostage in iran the highest of priorities. we also held a hearing from some of the hostages named in the resolution where we heard rom families from the family of bob levinson. a father and son who have been unjustly detained in iran for far too long. all of these families had to endure so much, mr. speaker. almost one year later, after our resolution, all of these men as well as at least four other americans, additional
americans continue to be unjustly detained in iran suffering under horrific conditions with little to no contact with their families. iran must be held accountable, mr. speaker. we must be applying maximum pressure against the regime and this bill gives the administration more tools to sanction the regime for this and ice of taking hostages i thank you for your full support. i thank the chairman and the ranking member. i thank you for the time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation, and trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the iranian regime is the number one state sponsor of terror in the whole world. and they commit terrorist acts
even against their own people. 4744, roud to h.r. introduced by my friend, chairman mccaul. the muleas in tehran are the most brutal. we have seen this on display as they continue to mercilessly crush dissent from their own people. international attention has faded but the iranian people are still in the streets demanding their rights, whether they be economic opportunity, access to water, religious freedom, or gender equality. so in response the regime has murdered dozens and locked up thousands as it has done so many times before without punishment from the outside world. this is nothing new for the islamic republic. look no further than the 1988 massacre where 30,000 of
iranians' political prisoners were systematically murdered by the regime. this barbaric mass execution occurred by public hangings, firing squads, including teenagers and pregnant women who refused to renounce their political affiliations. including many of the m.e.k.'s, today's leading iranian dissident group. so horrific was the act that the deputy to iran's ruler at the time ayatollah khomeini, called it, quote, the greatest crime committed within the islamic republic which history will condemn us and, yes, we condemn them for these acts of murder. this bill will provide that commendation and call for investigation into this crime against humanity. it also urges our government to work with partners to investigate other human rights
abuses such as the dozens more killed during protests in 1999, 2009, and 2017, and sanction those responsible. in all cases the families of those murdered by the regime were never told what happened to their loved ones' remains. this important bill will pressure the iranian government to disclose where the final resting place of the missing is so their families may have a small bit of peace. mr. speaker, now is the day of reckoning for the iranian regime, and that's just the way it is. i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, do you have any more speakers? the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. ening mr. royce: i'll continue to reserve the right to close. mr. engel: well, i'll close and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, it's no secret that the united states and iran's leaders are at odds on a host of issues.
iran has killed americans in iraq. its proxies seek to harm our citizens and our interests around the world. but let me be clear. the united states has no quarrel with the iranian people. this legislation seeks to protect the human rights of the iranian people and americans who are unfairly detained in iran. this bill signifies and signals our solidarity with the protesters and demonstrators to iran's rulers, any action that violates the human rights of americans will be met with severe consequences. the gentleman from texas, mr. mr. poe just mentioned the 1988 massacre, that was horrendous and there were many, many more. this brutal regime has blood on its hand and -- on its hands and it's important for the united states to call them out. i urge my colleagues to support this bill this bipartisan bill, and i yield back the balance of
my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: in closing, i would again like to thank my colleague, chairman mccaul and ranking member engel, for their bipartisan leadership to hold iran accountable. to hold them accountable for their brutality. their brutality in the 1988 massacres, their brutality in terms of the way they're treating their religious minorities today. and we know that americans formerly imprisoned by iran describe being subjected to electric shock and whipping, we've heard that before our committee. we've heard them say that they were denied medical care. oday u.s. citizens such as permanentazr and u.s. all ent nazr zaca, are
sitting in iranian jails on bogus accusations of -- on bogus accusations of collaborating in espionage and u.s. citizen robert levinson is still missing more than 10 years after he went missing in iran. our hearts go out to these victims, our hearts go out to their families as we call for the immediate release of all u.s. citizens and permanent residents held in iran. with this we will impose tough sanctions on the regime and we do that for its corruption, for its attacks on innocent americans and its attacks on iranians alike. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time having expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4744 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. royce: on that, question the yeas and nays. -- on that, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking the vote by the yeas and nays will rise. and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4681 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4681, a bill to limit assistance for areas of syria controlled by the
government of syria or associated forces and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i also ask unanimous consent to place into the record an exchange of letters with the committee on financial services. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker this bill comes at a very critical time. after seven years of devastating sill war, the destruction inflicted on the syrian people by the assad regime and its allies is catastrophic. by catastrophic, we mean a half million dead. we mean 14 million souls pushed
out of their homes. in that civil war. even now iranian backed militias are engaged in sectarian cleansing. ethnic cleansing was supposed to be something of the past. they are forcing people from their homes and russian warplanes continue to drop bombs on hospitals and just two weeks ago the regime again used chemical weapons outside of damascus as part of an operation that's displaced 55,000 people in this latest operation. i do want to commend my -- the ranking member of our committee, mr. eliot engel, because during this period of time, and we've assisted in this effort, but during this period of time , he has tried to lead in getting a solution to the problem of that civil unrest in syria which began with people on the streets of damascus marching, saying peaceful, peaceful.
and from day one, he's led an effort to try to focus us on trying to resolve this crisis. unfortunately, as the u.s. holocaust memorial museum noted in a recent report, the situation on the ground is getting even worse in syria and the worst, as they say, is probably yet to come. at the same time as this carnage is going on, representatives of syria and iran and russia have spread out across the international community trying to get reconstruction money. they will not find it here. it would be unconscionable for u.s. government funds to be used for stabilization or reconstruction in the areas under control of the ill he jate mt. assad regime and its proxies and i'll tell you why. because the people in those areas that they have taken over are being pushed out. and the militia that are being brought in are militia, whether it's hezbollah or other militia,
that are not indigenous to those communities. we're not going to support the building of infrastructure that's going to benefit hezbollah or iran's revolutionary guards or foreign militias recruited and paid for by the iranian regime. if or when the -- if or when the day comes that the government of syria is no longer led by bashar al-assad and his proxies, then the united states can once again look at the prospect for assistance. if the day comes when people are again allowed to return to their homes. we do have an interest in seing a stable, secure, and not hostile syria one day but until then, murder, industrial level torture, starvation, deliberate targeting of schools and hospitals and markets, and the shameless use of chemical weapons cannot be in the remotest way possible supported by u.s. funding. i ask that members join with us
to ensure no u.s. funding makes it into the hands of the assad regime and his proxies and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserve. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in support of the no assistance for assad act and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engale: this act, h.r. 4681, was written by me. i'm proud to be the lead sponsor in this bill and i'm proud of the bipartisan support that we've gotten from chairman royce and others on both sides of the aisle. mr. speaker, every time we think that the crisis in syria could not get any worse, the assad regime manages to plunge the country into even deeper depths. children living in the besieged area could not get food so they
resorted to eating leaves. a 7-year-old and her mother tweeted good-bye messages from aleppo under siege. what happened in eastern gutta is unfathomable. the white helmets, first responders, rushing to the scene of an aerial attack have been targeted themselves. once they arrived to render aid. and the regime has continued using chemical weapons which the world swore we would never use again. no matter highway assad's victims meet their ends, nerve gas or barrel bombs or the hands f assad's militia, the loss of innocent life is staggering. my heart bleeds for the people of syria. what they have had to endure should not be endured by anyone. and the united states needs to be vocal and we need to take action. as we continue to find some way to end the bloodshed, we also need to start thinking about what will come down the road.
this bill says that american assistance for reconstruction in syria should be available in areas controlled by assad only if the regime stops indiscriminate use of weapons, ends attacks civilians, and civilian facility rerks leases political prisoners, allows human rights organizations access to the prisons, an removes senior officials complicit in human rights abuses. if bashar al-assad, the butcher of syria, wants to destroy his own country, and then expects the united states to pick up the pieces, he is sorely mistaken. that simply won't happen. he and russia and iran broke syria. and now they have to buy it. we were careful in crafting this legislation to ensure that these limitations won't affect locally
administered projects and the bill permits humanitarian assistance to all in need. recovery in syria will be a slow and painful process. but we cannot allow those responsible for hundreds of thousands of murders to control american dollars meant to help the country rebuild. who in the foreign affair committees can forget those horrendous pictures taken of all these dead corpses lying right next, one by one, right next to each other. who could ever forget those atrocities that are being put up with by the people of syria each and every day. i'm grateful for the bipartisan support this bill has already received. i particularly want to thank congressman kinzinger, congressman boyle and chairman royce for their partnership in crafting this legislation. this legislation sends a
message, particularly after the assad regime again used chemical weapons that we are closely watching the developments in syria and that the united states will not assist those who are party to such heinous war crimes. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: he is the primary republican co-sponsor of this bill, mr. speaker. mr. kinzinger: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you, i want to thank ranking member engel and the co-chair of the syria caucus with me, representative boyle. in the start of the syrian civil war in 2011, we thought it would be peaceful. since then 500,000 syrians are dead, 50,000 of which are children, at the hands of the assad regime. assad and his regime and russia
and iran have committed genocide across syria, targeted hospitals and schools and destroyed critical infrastructure with indiscriminate bafrle bombs and air strikes. they reduced much of the country to rubble. and as long as assad is in power they should be fully responsible for rebuilding. the no assistance for assad act would place conditions on american nonhumanitarian assistance in syrian territories controlled by the assad regime or their allies. by limiting our reconstruction assistance to assad we send a strong message that the american people will not support any efforts to legitimize or bolster the barbaric assad regime. a regime that uses chemical weapons on its own ♪ civilians as we saw especially recently. we have seen far too many horrifying image os they have bloodied and bejieged children across syria suffering at the hands of an evil war criminal. as of january, 2018, the united states has provided more than
$7.7 billion in humanitarian assistance to the people of syria. we'll continue to support the innocent victims with the emergency food, safe drinking water, shelter and other vital resources they desperately need. this legislation places strict conditions on the nonhumanitarian assistance for things like early recovery, stabilization and reconstruction and assad -- in assad-controlled syrian territories. the release of all april prisoners and providing full access to syrian prisoners for human rights investigations and removing human rights abusers from positions of authority are just two of the conditions included in this bill. the syrian government must also end all attacks against sievall -- civilians and halt the deployment and development of ballistic and cruise missiles. we must do all we can now to pretcht the next generation of terrorists down the road. without hope and opportunity, the people of syria and those across the middle east will
become prime crutes for groups like isis, hezbollah and others this eunited states of america must take a stand against genocide in sir yasm the inhumane war crimes against the innocent people of syria and the oppressive strongmen, those like assad. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 4681, the no assistance for assad act. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: if there's nobody else i'll close. one more. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on nonproliferation and trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. also want to thank and express my support for ranking member engel's bill, 4681, no
assistance to assad act. and as he said, assad is a butcher, a butcher of his own people. rian dictator bashar assad continues to murder the syrians en masse and destroy what was once a great ancient land. because of the world's inaction, he's close to victory. he's proven that evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing. now, syria is in ruins and it must be rebuilt. but we should play no part in helping his regime look like the saviors of the country. he and his russian and iranian backers must foot the bill for the destruction. they will try to use any reconstruction to cover up for their crimes. that is why it is important we pass h.r. 4681, to restrict
u.s.-funded reconstruction assistance to areas the syrian regime controls. the american people are kind, they're generous, and will always help those in need. we always have. history proves it. but we will not pay for a propaganda win for brutal dictators like assad. let assad and his buddies, the iranians and the russians, rebuild assad's territory. his regime has weaponized human aid -- humanitarian aid throughout the war, and we can only expect him to continue to do so as he tries to retake territory. so for now, let assad rule over the ruins of the old syria. the syria he destroyed. and no u.s. money should ever go to assad. one day the assads will be gone, but until then, we should not provide a dime of american money to strengthen his rule and grip over that land. and i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california
reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, in closing, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: reconstruction and stabilization of a post-isis syria is estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $300 billion. by the way, i wish i could say a post-assad syria, because he's the one that really should go. the syrian regime has spent the last six years destroying civilian infrastructure and driving people from their homes. it is simply not the role of the united states to support reconstruction in syria, especially if the assad regime continues to oppress the syrian people and there is no accountability for his war crimes. and for those who are considering investing in syrian reconstruction in assad-controlled territories, just know that syria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. therefore, it should be expected that reconstruction
money would be siphoned off to those who perpetrated war crimes and those who facilitate terrorism. we mist prevent this. again, we must not forget the plight of the syrian people. we must continue to stand with the syrian people. we must demand that there is an end to all chemical weapons and all weapons killing civilians with barrel bombs, with people trying to get out of the way, little children dying with their mothers, in their mother's hands. this cannot continue. so i urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: in closing, i'd like to thank ranking member engel and representative kinzinger for their exceptional work on this important bill. this bill will keep taxpayer
dollars out of the hands of a murderous regime and its proxies. time and again, mr. eliot engel has been this body's conscious n the issue -- conscience on the issue of syria passing the cesar syria protection act twice, another supporting the establishment of a tribunal in ria to try assad's war crimes, another measure we had passed. while we have made important progress in the military campaign against isis, there is no end in sight to the misery inflicted on the people of syria about assad and his proxies. now is not the time to turn away. as we engage, we cannot let u.s. taxpayer money to reward war crimes. i yield back the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4681 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california advise? mr. royce: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass house concurrent resolution 111 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 111, concurrent resolution recognizing and supporting the efforts of the united bid committee to the
bring the 2026 fédération internationale de football world cup fifa, competition to canada, mix corks and the united states. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will ontrol 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: i want to thank the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood. we thank him for introducing a resolution which expresses the broad bipartisan agreement that the united states supports the unitebid committee's effort to jointly host the 2026 fifa world cup competition. soccer is one of the most and ar sports in the world the world cup is the most
important competition. this would be a win for the united states and for our neighbors in canada and mexico as well. the united states has not hosted a fifa world cup since 1994, but 24 years later, we still hold the all-time attendance record. over 3.5 million people attended those matches. i remember. i was there in the stands for the games in l.a. the economic revenue genated by the 1994 tournament generated more thanouble what was expected. the 2026 tournament is expected to break revenue and attendance records. fifa announced it will be the first time in tournament history that 48 teams, instead of 32, are going to compete in the world cup. the addition of more teams will mean more economic opportunities for american cities such as los angeles and san francisco to host and entertain visitors from around
the country and around the world. the fifa world cup, much like the olympics, has a long tradition of bringing countries together in a competitive but peaceful environment. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this measure and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. first, let me thank congressman lahood for authoring this bipartisan resolution and chairman royce for bringing it to the floor. with this resolution we send a strong message of support for the efforts of the united bid committee to bring the fifa world cup competition to the united states, mexico, and canada. we share critical relationships with our neighbors to the north and south, and it's important we keep those good relationships. so i'm pleased that congress continues to push back on anything that would hurt the relationship and last year the
house passed my resolution with congressman mccaul, reaffirming the importance of the u.s.-mexico partnership, as well as the resolution from congressman jeff duncan, on the u.s.-canada alliance. the 2026 fifa world cup provides another key opportunity for us to reinforce our strong alliances with both mexico and canada. the united states has hosted the world cup three times. the men's tournament in 1994, the women's world cup in both 1999 and 2003. we have the infrastructure. we know how to prepare. we have 25 american cities eligible to host, and bringing the world's most popular tournament back to north america will generate increased tourist revenue for host sites as fans arrive from all over the world. congress should not only pass this resolution but also congress should continue to provide support for the united bid committee and its efforts in our own conversations with
foreign leaders and other stakeholders. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood, author of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for four minutes. mr. lahood: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank chairman royce. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.con.res 111, recognizing and supporting the efforts of the united bid committee to bring the 2026 fifa world cup soccer competition to the united states, canada, and mexico. this bipartisan resolution, introduced by the co-chairs of the congressional soccer caucus, myself, congresswoman castor, congressman bacon, congressman kihuen, conveys our strong support for this united north american bid to host the 2026 world cup. as well as voicing our overall
support for soccer at the global level. when the u.s. last hosted the 1994 fifa world cup competition, it served as a catalyst for the increased popularity and development of soccer across america. and the introduction of major league soccer, which is thriving today. since the games in 1994, soccer has become one of the fastest growing sports in the united states, promoting a competitive and healthy and active lifestyle, teamwork and sportsmanship to over 24 million americans of all ages in every state. this includes the 20% of american children under the age of 12 -- under the age of 12 who currently play soccer. as the father to three young soccer players and the representative of a district which includes eight college soccer programs, i recognize the value that soccer has for families and communities. additionally, in my home state of illinois, we are proud to be
the home of the u.s. soccer federation and the chicago fire, one of major league soccer's original soccer clubs. by uniting players and fans from different nations under one banner of friendship and fair competition, it is our hope hosting the 2026 competition would promote and further the positive impact of soccer here and abroad. as the consideration of the 2026 location by fifa continues, support from congress will help demonstrate that our government is equally enthusiastic for north america's three largest nations to host one of the world's preeminent soccer events -- sporting events which is soccer. i want to thank my colleagues who have supported this effort, including chairman royce, who has been a strong advocate for this resolution, and also my colleagues on the u.s. congressional soccer caucus, and i urge passage of h.con.res
111. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from california reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. it's now my pleasure to yield four minutes to the gentlewoman from florida, ms. castor, an original co-sponsor of this resolution, but even more importantly, co-chair of the soccer caucus, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for four minutes. ms. castor: thank you very much. mr. speaker, the united states of america and our north american neighbors, canada and mexico, have a wonderful opportunity to host the 2026 fifa world cup soccer tournament. this is a combined north american bid, and i'd like to thank my colleague, representative lahood, and chairman royce and ranking member engel, for their support of the resolution and also commend my colleagues, congressman bacon and congressman kihuen, who also co-chair the congressional soccer caucus.
the united states last hosted the world cup in 1994. had nine cities. the attendance was over 3.5 million. and we think now for 2026 it's going to be bigger and better than ever because we're going to combine efforts with our north american neighbors of canada and mexico where they will also host many of the tournament matches. . and i noticed, mr. speaker, that mr. webster was on the floor, along with ms. ros-lehtinen and mr. deutch and they should be proud to know that orlando and miami from our home state of florida will be participating and we love soccer in the sunshine state. but i also offer my strong support for this resolution because of the inspiration that the world cup soccer tournament provides to young people all across this country. it's like the olympics. it encourages them to be healthy and well, to
participate in team sports, and athletics. it exposes and encourages children and young people to be good sports and understand what a world competition means in a friendly wafment -- way. studies see the team sports lead to healthier lifestyles, increased knowledge about exercise and nutrition, positive gains in reading and math, and that's why the congressional soccer caucus works with the u.s. soccer foundation. because they really provide the national model for programs about the beautiful game and they make so many helpful investments in communities across the country to encourage kids to get out and be active and learn about great sportsmanship. so here's this resolution. we're coming together in a bipartisan way to recognize the effort, to support it, to make sure that americans everywhere know that we expect the men's team to live up to their
expectations, the women's team, national team, of course, has been champion after champion after champion. it's time also for men's team and this generation to try to meet their goals. we'd like to encourage everyone to pay attention, support the effort, again, i thank my colleague, mr. lahood. chairman royce. ranking member engel. and i urge the house to kick this resolution towards passage so that we can meet our goals. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york reserves his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i'll close, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: the ties between the united states, mexico and canada are longstanding and deep. and i'm pleased that the united states can continue to come together in partnership with
our friends from both those countries on the united bid committee to try to bring the 2026 world cup to north america. i stand ready to support the north american bid in any way that i can. it would really be terrific to get it. and i know we all feel the same way. so i urge my colleagues to support this resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. -- the gentleman from new york yields back his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: in closing, i would like to once again thank the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood, and i also thank the 40 co-sponsors who have been pushing this important bipartisan resolution. by passing this resolution, we show our support for the efforts of the united bid committee to bring the excitement of the world cup tournament to the united states once again, for the first time since 1994. so i urge unanimous support for this measure and i yield back
the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 111 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, -- the gentleman from california. mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. smith: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2809, the american space commerce free enterprise act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2809. a bill to amend title 51, united states code, to provide for the authorization and supervision of nongovernmental space activities and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, and the gentleman from california, mr. bera, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.r. 2809, the bill now under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as
much time as he wishes to use. mr. smith: mr. speaker, today we give space exploration a booster rocket in the form of h.r. 2809. the bipartisan american space commerce free enterprise act. the commercial space industry is poised to begin a major new vehicle for discoveries in space and national economic growth. it represents hundreds of billions of dollars in investments and the creation of thousands of jobs across the united states. for years there has been uncertainty about which federal agency has responsibility for approving nontraditional space activities and ensuring conformity with the outerspace treaty. this uncertainty has cramped capital formation and innovation and has driven american companies overseas. the space commerce act remedies this situation by establishing a new, novel, legal and policy framework that allows businesses, assures conformity
with outerspace treaty obligations and guarantees the u.s. will lead the world in commercial space activities throughout the 21st century. h.r. 2809 increases american competitiveness and attracts companies, talents and money that would otherwise go to other countries. in short, the space commerce act ensures that america and its work force will benefit from the new space economy. the need for this legislation became evident during the previous administration, when legal uncertainty arose after u.s. space exploration companies sought pay load approval from the department of transportation for its nontraditional space activities. but the d.o.d. pay load approval process is not designed to satisfy the requirements of complying with the outerspace treaty. so the federal government has been unable to assure the private sector, that new and innovative space activities would be approved for launch. the space commerce act uses a commonsense approach to establish a sound legal
foundation upon which u.s. industry can rely and flourish. it creates a self-certification process for the nongovernmental space activities that provides regulatory certainty for the u.s. commercial space sector. and it assures u.s. compliance with outerspace treaty obligations and addresses national security concerns in the least burdensome manner. existing regulatory authority is currently spread across three federal agencies, which has caused the revere of commercial sensing applications to grind to a halt. h.r. 2809 consolidates this authority into one federal agency, the secretary of commerce's office of space commerce. the result, america gets a one-stop-shop for authorizing outerspace activities. without h.r. 2809, america's space industry would continue to face legal uncertainty. innovation would be stifled by burdensome and open-ended
regulatory processes. other policies and interests of the united states are affected by private sector space activities, national security in particular. but the space commerce act improve pro-- improves national security by includes remote sensing reform. by requiring national security risk assessment during the remote permitting process, this bill ensures that national security concerns are addressed. h.r. 2809 improves the permitting process by creating a single decision point, increation transparency, avoiding unnecessary reviews of technologies that have already been approved, and preventing the interagency process from indefinitely delaying decision making. these changes allow our remote sensing industry to continue to lead the world. the bill also goes farther than current law in providing for the physical safety of government assets in orbit. after operations are certified, the government can conduct an
assessment of physical safety issues that will prevent disastrous collisions and help protect the safety of government and private assets. co-sponsors of the space commerce act include space subcommittee chairman babin and recent science committee member and now nasa administrator, jim bridenstine. both chairman babin and administrator bridenstine have worked diligently to move this legislation forward. and representatives perlmutter, kilmer and soto also helped develop this commonsense, bipartisan regulatory reform bill. many thanks to all of them. this transformative and ground-shaking legislation facilitates commercial liftoff and declares that america is fully open for business in space. american innovators driven by ingenuity, competitive spirit and bold vision are the future of space exploration. mr. speaker, i encourage my colleagues to support the american space commerce free enterprise act, and i reserve
the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. bera. berber mr. speaker, i yield my -- mr. bera: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. bera: i rise today in support of h.r. 2809, the american space commerce free enterprise act. as a ranking member of the subcommittee on space, i support a robust and successful commercial space industry. and i look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on policies that facilitate our nation's continued growth and leadership in space. the bill before us today, h.r. 2089, would provide a regulatory framework for u.s. innovative and emerging nongovernmental space activities. commercial space launches, space-based remote sensing, and space communications are currently authorized under existing frameworks in the f.a.a., the department of commerce, and the f.c.c. however, proposed activities
such as commercial operations on the moon, as troid mining, satellite servicing and privately owned space habitats are not covered. the bill establishes a certification process at commerce for these emerging commercial space activities, and in so doing provides important certainty for commercial companies and investors in these planned space activities. the bill also makes some updates to the licensing regime for commercial space-based remote sensing systems. further, the bill moves the regulatory oversight of commercial space remote sensing systems to the office of space commerce under the secretary of commerce. the office of space commerce would also have authority for the certification of nontraditional commerce -- commercial space activities. i've often spoken about the importance of building the rules of the road framework that does not stifle innovation, and provides
guardrails for proper government oversight. no bill is perfect, but i believe that this bill strikes a fair balance in achieving the goal of certifying these nontraditional commercial space activities that don't fit within the current regulatory structure. that being said, while i support moving the bill forward, there are several aspects of h.r. 2809 that deserve further discussion, including ensuring that relevant federal agencies can weigh in on whether a proposed commercial space activity could effect the physical safety of u.s. government space operations, including human space flight operations. making sure that relevant government expertise and measures to perform harmful contamination of planetary services are taken into account . making sure any remaining national security and intelligence agency concerns are addressed. and making sure additional information is provided on how the consolidated office of
space commerce will be properly funded and staffed so, it can carry out the additional responsibilities for authorizing commercial space activities and commercial space-based remote sensing under the bill. i am hopeful that these and other aspects of the bill will be addressed as the bill proceeds both in the senate and in any house-senate conference. space is an area that should have bipartisan support from congress. nasa and the commercial space industry can only benefit when we work together as democrats and republicans. as a result, i support passage of this bill and i ask my colleagues to join me in helping to move this bill out of the house. thank you, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, first of all i want to thank the gentleman from california, mr. bera, the ranking member of the space subcommittee, for the comments that he just delivered and also for co-sponsoring this piece of legislation. at this point i'm going to
yield eight minutes to the chairman of the space subcommittee, the gentleman rom texas, mr. babin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for eight minutes. r. babin: thank you. i'd like to place into the record an op-ed i wrote in january called, a one stop shop for space exploration in the record, without objection, if that's possible. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's request will be covered under general leave. mr. babin: mr. speaker, i rise -- in in h.r. of h.r.
favor of h.r. 2809. he american space commerce free enterprise act limits burdensome government intrusion, promotes american innovation and investment, protect national security, and satisfies our international obligations. one of the fundamental drivers for this is that americans are pushing the boundaries. when the senate ratified the outer space treaty 50 years ago, free enterprise in outer space was an idea but not a reality. he american space commerce freent prize act today not only does it exist in outer space, free enterprise, but it's innovating at an unprecedented space, from asteroid mining to
private moon missions to satellite servicing to remote cost lakeses, there's great promise that american enter price will soon unlock -- enter prides will soon unlock new wealth and benefits. this is threatened, threatened but expansive, unchecked, regulatory authority, cumbersome regulatory processes and misperceptions about the united states' outer space treaty obligations. for several years we have heard concerns from stakeholders that they need greater regulatory certainty to attract investment and to succeed. stakeholders also reported that while they want to stay in america, due to regulatory burdens and uncertainty, they might need to go overseas. the american space commerce free enterprise act addresses these concerns without compromising our cherished principles of liberty and freedom. it provides for presumptions of approval and requires the government to take affirmative
steps before conditioning or denying proposed space or remote sensing operations. it places the burden of demonstrating inconsistency with outer space treaty obligations and national security requirements of the united states with the government and not the applicant. it curtails vague, overreaching regulatory authority and prevents tolling of statutory adjudication timelines. it ensures u.s. industry receives a timely and transparent determination on applications. the bill recognizes legitimate national security equities and provides for the condition or denial of authorized space activities with remote sensing -- systems that are a significant threat to u.s. national security in certain circumstances but protects against abuses of interagency discretion by requiring an explanation and evidence of the threat before conditions or denial can be made.
in order to ensure the office of space commerce is empowered to represent the interests of our citizens and the private sector, the director of the office is elevated to be the new assistant secretary for space commerce. the act also advances important public policy interests. the bill establishes a mandatory safety consultation between private and federal government operators. the goal of this consultation is for the affected parties to reach a voluntary agreement to mitigate safety risks for parties subject to u.s. jurisdiction. the act provides for federal district court jurisdiction for any civil action resulting from certified or permitted space operations. to protect against foreign harmful interference, the act directs the president to protect against acts of foreign aggression and foreign harmful interference. the act also addresses concerns of harmful contamination of the
earth or celestial bodies. pursuant to our international obligations under the outer space treaty, operations may be conditioned or denied by the secretary of commerce in consultation with appropriate agencies such as nasa to address harmful contamination. the bill deposits long-standing u.s. policy, confirmed by both department of state and nasa, that has plantary protection guidelines are not international obligations of the united states. this was done to allow all stakeholders, including the scientific community and industry to work together as activities expand beyond scientific exploration and to use -- to address mutual interests. not by proscribing coast guard guidelines as binding international law but by allowing the outer space treaty to guide our activities. i am grateful to have worked with chairman smith and
representative bridenstine, recently confirmed as nasa administrator, in the development of this bill. i'm also very glad that this is a bipartisan bill with the support of representatives perlmutter and kilmer and bera. i strongly support this bill and urge my colleagues to do the same. and, again, i'd like to offer the op-ed into the record. this op-ed is a very, very telltale reason and shows exactly why this is a great bill to put this under the department of commerce and take it out from under the department of transportation. for many reasons, i would hope that this would be a source of debate and where we will get the reasons for what we are doing with this bill. with that i would yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields
back his time. the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, reserves his time. and the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. bera: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from colorado, an all-around champion of human space travel to mars by 2033, mr. perlmutter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for four minutes. mr. perlmutter: good afternoon, mr. speaker. thanks to my friend from california, ranking member bera, and to chairman smith and babin. i rise today as a supporter and co-sponsor of h.r. 2809. the united states has the best aerospace industry in the world. in order to stay number one, we need to provide certainty to american industry so it can attract investment and continue innovating to push our country forward. and we're at a time where we have the opportunity to set the standard of how to regulate space activities so there is a
level playing field for our american industry. and that is why we need a certification process as provided in the bill to ensure compliance with the outer space treaty. this process will reduce uncertainty and create a clear path to certification and to the launch of new spacecraft. i have heard from stakeholders still discussing where to place this new authority. this legislation places that authority in the office of space commerce. others have suggested the office of space transportation at the f.a.a. i hope this discussion continues and we reach a consensus as we continue through the legislative process with the senate. the second part of this bill makes important reforms for the remote sensing industry. satellite imagery or space images also are known as the remote sensing industry, and it is changing the way we see the earth and enabling businesses
of all types to find new opportunities. a major remote sensing company named digital globe, is headquartered in my district in westminster, colorado. i've heard stories about how long they've waited for a license determination under noaa. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. over four years in one case. this is well past the 120-day deadline currently required in statute because of broken interagency review process and no mechanism to enforce a timeline. this is why i believe the reforms in section 4 of the bill are overdue. those companies in the remote sensing industry need certainty so they can make sound plans and attract investors and customers. all of these regulatory delays mean lost revenue and significant expenses as they wait for approval. section 4 of the bill helps fix that. during the markup of this bill last year, we made improvements
to the bill to ensure the office of space commerce has the time needed to get its decisions right and to strengthen the consultation language to require the secretary of commerce to consult with other relevant federal agencies. since the markup, i was pleased to see additions to the bill which ensure the proper balance with the defense community to ensure the department of the defense -- the department of defense has a proper input into remote sensing applications. i want to thank chairman smith, chairman babin, and now nasa administrator bridenstine, for their work with me on this bill. i'd also like to thank the ranking member johnson and ranking member bera for raising a number of important issues which we still have to address as we go through this process. i believe the bill before the house today is a good bill, and i look forward to working with the senate to pass these reforms into law. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, first of all, i'd like to thank the
gentleman from colorado who just spoke for his enthusiasm about space. and, mr. speaker, i'd like to submit for the record a letter exchanged between the science committee and the transportation committee. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: and furthermore, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher, who is a very active member of the science committee and of its subcommittee, the space subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. rohrabacher: i rise in support of h.r. 2809. i want to thank chairman smith for the great job that he's been doing. we will miss you, lamar. but also to subcommittee chairman babin and subcommittee ranking member bera. this is truly a bipartisan piece of legislation, and i believe under chairman smith's leadership, we have had a bipartisan committee in the science committee. h.r. 2809, the american space
of erce free enterprise act 2017, clears up the doubt around commercial space activities. which agency is responsible? who will give me the answers? it's hard enough to create a new technology and develop new markets without having to get five different answers about which bureaucrat needs to sign off on what form. this uncertainty, this confusion has forced companies overseas much in the same way that companies were forced overseas before the commercial space act of 2004, of which i was the author. now as then, it is the fault of congress for not keeping up with the industry. now as then, we choose to enable american cutting edge space companies by providing the framework in which they can build, test, and create. now as then, we choose to lead the world, and we are making
this a better world through our space enterprise. do you remember when telephone calls, long distance telephone calls cost a fortune? ordinary people could not make phone calls to their loved ones. so in a way by bringing down the cost and the quality of that type of communication through space-based enterprise, we have expanded the goodwill of people towards each other and their families throughout the world. we have made sure that, for example, with space-based assets, we are farmers -- even farmers know when to plant. thus, we have more food production at a cheaper price. and space-based assets have made america safer. mr. chairman, it's been my honor working with you on these space-related issues. and i would hope we continue to work together in cooperation, showing america's young people that we believe in the future. and whether it's republican or democrat, we are going to work together to make sure they have
that future they deserve. thank you very much. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves his time. and the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. bera: does the gentleman from texas, chairman smith, have any additional speakers? mr. smith: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers, so we are prepared to yield back. the speaker pro tempore: he's prepared to yield back and to close. mr. bera: mr. speaker, if i could make some closing remarks. i think you've seen the genuine enthusiasm about democrats and republicans and all americans about space. it is in that spirit of national pride in american leadership i urge all my colleagues to pass this bill and, again, to continue to foster american leadership in space and meet that goal that my colleague, mr. perlmutter, often talks about -- getting to mars by 2033. so with that it's been a pleasure working with the chairman of the full committee and subcommittee. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i just want to thank publicly majority leader kevin mccarthy for co-sponsoring this legislation as well. i encourage my colleagues to support it, and i appreciate the remarks by the gentleman from california, mr. bera. i yield he back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. both sides have yielded back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2809, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on he table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5086, the innovators to entrepreneurs act of 2018,
as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5086, a bill to require the director of the national science foundation to develop a course to support commercialization ready innovation companies and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. webster, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. webster. mr. webster: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on h.r. 5086, the bill now under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. webster: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. webster: thank you, mr. speaker. today i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting the innovators to entrepreneurs act of -- h.r. 5086.
thank you to my friend, daniel lipinski, for introducing the legislation with me. he is a champion of the time-proven innovation corps' program, better known as icorps. this bipartisan piece of legislation is a result of the committee hearings on the program. the innovation corporation's program has created -- was created by the national science foundation in 2011, to teach scientists and engineers how to turn their laboratory innovations into successful commercial products and services. this program assists scientists and engineers in the development of their academic research and equips them to bring that research into the private market. we have witnessed the wonderful successes of this program in my home state of florida and across the nation. h.r. 5086 expands the program by creating a new course for
commercialization-ready companies. a lowing the completion of team course, individuals are eligible for this new course, which will help them create market and eventually expand to private sector company. through marketing, hiring, organizing and attracting investors, these participants' success increases dramatically. the bill breaks down the barriers experienced by current scientists when attempting to bring their product to market. additionally, this bill expands the groups allowed to apply for the program and offer new options for how to initially pay for the course. i would appreciate my colleague s' support in passing this commonsense piece of legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves.
the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. lipinski: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. lipinski: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 5086, the innovators to entrepreneurs act of 2018. the bill that i introduced to spur entrepreneurship and turn american innovation into jobs. i want to thank mr. webster for being the lead co-sponsor of this legislation. this bill expands the national science foundation's highly successful innovation corps, or i corps program -- or icorps program. which, as my science committee colleagues know, i've been a major champion of since it was first created by n.s.f. in 2011. in 2016 i led the effort that officially authorized icorps. icorps teaches scientists and engineers how to turn their federally funded laboratory research into successful
products and services. the program has educated more than 1,100 teams, including many women and under-represented minorities, and has been linked to over 400 startup companies. since it was authorized in the last congress, n.s.f. has helped spread icorps to other agencies, including the national institutes of health, nasa, and the department of energy. the federal government invests billions of dollars in research and development annually. both at government facilities like national labs, and at universities and research institutions. icorps is a modest investment that leads to much higher return on our federally funded research by significantly increasing rates of commercialization and job creation. our economy is driven by the ingenuity of our scientists and engineers. developing innovations today that become tomorrow's great products.
and yet still only a minority of federally funded research with commercial potential ever makes it to the marketplace. the icorps program helps change that. but we can do even more. and this bill helps to do that. first, it helps more people participate in the program. right now, unless you're a grantee of the n.s.f. or another agency with an icorps program, the training can be difficult to access. this bill will give recipients of small business grants from any federal agency the flexibility to pay for icorps with their grant funds. and will also let private citizens apply and pay out of pocket to participate. second, the bill directs n.s.f. to establish a new course as part of the icorps program, to teach scientists entrepreneurs how to start and grow a company. while the current icorps course does a great job of helping
scientists develop innovation and determine whether or not it is suitable for commercialization, it offers only limited guidance for what to do after the decision is made to become an entrepreneur. skills such as how to write a business plan, hire a team, and attract investment are taught in business schools but not in ph.d. programs. n.s.f. recognizes this need and has already begun a pilot program to test curriculum for this new course. this bill will make sure the new course is fully developed and made available around the country. finally, this bill requires the g.a.o. assessment of the icorps program. its first comprehensive independent evaluation since it was created. although the program success to date speaks for itself, it's important to continuously improve it by developing metrics to measure its performance and to en-- and to ensure that federal funds are well spent.
this bill has been endorsed by a wide range of stakeholders, including the former n.s.f. program officer who founded the rogram, silicon valley entrepreneur who developed the curriculum that icorps is based on, and directors of icorps nodes around the country. the bill is also endorsed by the information technology and innovation foundation, the national venture capital association, the council on government relations, and the association of public and land grant universities. i want to thank chairman smith, ranking member johnson, for their support of this legislation. and again i want to thank the lead co-sponsor, mr. webster of florida. i also want to thank senator koonce, who is leading the senate companion bill. i ask my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation which will help spur greater
american innovation and create more jobs, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. webster: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes of my time to the chairman of the space, science and technology committee, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman from florida, mr. webster, a valued member of the science committee, for yielding me time. and, mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 5086, the innovators to entrepreneurs act. the bill extends the reach of the national science foundation's innovative corps or icorps program, which trains and prepares scientists and engineers to advance their research results into entrepreneurial opportunities. h.r. 5086 expands who sell simply to participate in icorps -- who is able to participate .n icorps courses the bill also allows any
private citizen to apply to a -- to participant and pay out of pocket -- participate and pay out of pocket. this authorizes a new icorps course for commercial-ready research ventures that teaches skills involving company organization, attracting investors, and hiring. in research labs today lie the seeds for breakthroughs in new fields like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and bioengineering. these breakthroughs will continue to transform our lives and the world we live in. many scientists and engineers are not trained for commercializing those ideas and did not go to business school or take any business development classes. icorps gives researchers tools to maximize the taxpayer investment in basic research and to spur innovation. h.r. 5086 builds on the success of the icorps program in building connections between academia and the private sector to create more startups and more jobs.
we thank research and technology subcommittee ranking meb danley pinsky and representative -- ranking member danley pinsky and representative webster -- dan lipinski and representative webster. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. lipinski: does the gentleman from florida have any more speakers? mr. webster: i do not. mr. lipinski: i'm prepared to finish up here then. i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for the remabeder of his time. mr. lipinski: -- for the remainder of his time. mr. lipinski: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank mr. webster for his support of this legislation. we know that this not only advanced our understanding of the world, but also creates jobs and products that fuel our economy is a goal that all of us can agree upon. and i know as a former university professor, i know that it's not something that we teach in ph.d. programs. we have the greatest
researchers in the world here in the united states, we spend so much, we invest so much in federal research and federal dollars for research. this is a simple program, low cost, that helps get the biggest thing for our -- bang for our buck, helps create jobs and keeps america on the leading edge of innovation in the world. it's something that we need for today and for our future and i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinoises back the balance of his time -- illinois yields back the baffle his time. the gentleman from florida is -- the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized for the remainder of his time. mr. webster: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i want to thank mr. lipinski and chairman smith and all of the entire committee of house, space, science and technology for their support of this legislation.
it's a good bill and it will spur the creation of new businesses and new jobs. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the remainder of his time. the question is, will the house suspend rules and pass the bill, h.r. 5086, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, -- mr. webster: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman requests the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, due to my election to the house armed services committee, this letter is to inform you that i resign my seat on the
committee on education and the work force. it has been an honor to serve in this capacity. signed, sincerely, paul mitchell, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resignation is accepted. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until and later this week, a measure that extends federal aviation programs for five years. current authority for f.a.a. programs expires on september 30. follow the house live when members gavel back in. later today, president trump
will host his first state dinner. we'll bring you live coverage for guest arrivals and at the front portico and state dinner hosts. live coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. the two leaders held a joint news conference with reporters at the white house and show you tonight at 10:00 eastern on c-span. >> connect with c-span to personalize the information you get from us. go to c-span.org/connect and sign up for the email. it is a daily email with the most updated prime time are chedule. the book tv news letters sent weekly is an insider look at authors and book festiveals.
>> tomorrow, testimony from attorney general jeff sessions on the 2019 budget request and will speak before a senate subcommittee and starts at 2:30 p.m. eastern. and coming on thursday, the senate judiciary committee will provide protections for special counsel while setting of the.ons and removeal that will start at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3:00. saturday, the 16th annual annapolis book festival and includes chris matthews with his book, bobby kennedy, white house correspondent, april ryan with